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Electricity Grid Alert System Leads to Reduced Use of Energy on Campus

In order to help avoid power outages in the area, Boston College’s Facilities Management team worked to cut back on the amount of electricity BC used this past summer.

Facilities Management established the Electricity Grid Alert System, posting fliers across campus and sending out emails about ways students and faculty could reduce their use of electricity. On hot summer days, people generally use more electricity to keep their houses and offices cool, which can lead to power outages.

The Facilities Management team suggested turning off and unplugging appliances, keeping office thermostats at 75 degrees, turning off office lights, and keeping windows and curtains closed.

“We know that the grid is taxed pretty heavily during hot days in the summer,” said John MacDonald, BC’s energy manager.

“We would like to thank the faculty and staff for helping us out.They did a tremendous job.”

—John MacDonald, BC’s energy manager

Although not all of the students and faculty stay on campus for the summer, he said, there are still some people, including RAs and RDs, student athletes, and summer students. It’s their use of air conditioning during the summer months that contributes to an increase in the amount of electricity the campus uses.

The posters and emails proved effective, MacDonald said. The automated system the Facilities Management team uses to measure the amount of electricity BC uses indicated that BC was able to cut back on its usage this summer.

“We were able to save a considerable amount of energy,” MacDonald said.

Students and faculty alike saved large print jobs until the grid alert ended, kept their coffee makers unplugged, and turned off lights.

This initiative, however, is only done in the summer because it’s too difficult to implement when school is in session.

“We would like to thank the faculty and staff for helping us out,” MacDonald said. “They did a tremendous job.”

Featured Image Courtesy of Facilities Management

September 1, 2016